Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 9 Prague and 10 Amsterdam,...

Greetings from Amsterdam! The team is on our way home. By the time our families
get this blog we may be at the house with you.

Our last day with the missionary women was so awesome. Bonnie led us out in worship
and Janet and I brought the final words to them regarding “Standing in the Gap”. I can
promise you because of God, not because of man, that hearts were touched and refreshed
this week for kingdom work. On a personal level it was something I have needed for
several months.

One thing became clear this week…many of us are weary. One of the things I shared
with the group the first night was how I was desperately trying to find God’s rhythm in
the middle of my ‘new normal’ stage of my life right now. Many of you know my niece
and her 3 ½ month son live with us. Nothing has been normal since then……..
Quiet time doesn't happen at the normal time, breakfast doesn't, walking is gone for now,
etc. It is really crazy. I love my niece and great nephew so much, but as you know life
changes when there is a baby on the scene. That is my ‘new normal’ as Jana from our
Sunday school class calls it. And sometimes it can make you weary. Thursday Kristy
brought me a card with Matthew 11:28-30 on it from the message bible. You absolutely
have to love God’s Word and even if you don’t like different translations this one spoke
to us this week.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and
you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work
with me-watch how to do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything
heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep Company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and
lightly. Matthew 11: 28-30 TMSG

I want to thank everyone that touched those ladies lives with your giving, gifts, cards,
prayers, etc. They were so in awe of your graciousness and willingness to give above and
beyond and you don’t even know them face to face. We too, at Pure Joy International
feel the same way. While we know some of you, we really don’t know face to face so
many of you that have been led of God to be a part of this growing ministry. Thank you
for giving those of us that ‘go’ the ability to go so that we together are fulfilling God’s
word in Heb. 3:11 that tells us to encourage one another daily.

Keep a watch on the blog as I go back to finishing up our journey on ‘Stopping the Chaos
in the Family’. Also keep an eye out for upcoming dates and trips and let me know if you
believe God is calling you and or your church to be a part of any of those trips.

Love you much

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Prague Day 7...

Sweet, Sweet day of the presence of the LORD. God is working mightily in the hearts of
the missionary women and the team. You can actually observe the hand of God at work
in the hearts of the women. Many tears of relief, joy, conviction, hope, etc. shared today.

The speaking has been incredible. The LORD has used each speaker in a unique way to
reach the hearts of the women. He has woven their words together endlessly. During
testimony time tonight it was sweet to see that most of the women could not remember
what women spoke what truth but was able to share the truth itself. I shared with the
ladies my excitement over their inability to remember who said what because it affirms to
me that theses women allowed the spirit of God to speak to and through them these last 3
days. No personalities were present except the Spirit of God. Amen.

Tomorrow is our last day together with us finishing up at 2 pm Prague time. Please pray
for the final words to be spoken over these lades along with song of worship! Pray for
anyone that has not heard from God to hear from Him. Pray for travel for the missionary
women and the team as well, as we start our journey’s back home tomorrow.
Stand in the Gap for us as we finish strong!

Love you much…


Friday, October 26, 2012

Prague Day 6...

Wow! Great day in the LORD!!! We started our day with sweet worship led by Bonnie.
Ruth, Paula and Janet shared wonderful messages from the Word of God. We were able
to identify all the food we have eaten today, always a good sign in a foreign country.

Faith, Bonnie and one of our missionary women gave testimonies tonight of things God
is doing in their lives! Good words of encouragement to the women!

Messages today revolved around Exodus 17:12 the story of the Amalekites attack on the
children of Israel coming out of Egypt. Paula also talked to us out of Psalms 78 about
telling our story to the next generation.

God is moving in hearts to encourage! Weariness has been an overriding theme here. It
seems like many of the ladies and team members included are in a season of many trails.
Tonight we spent time in prayer before the LORD just asking Him to be the lifter of our

Keeping Praying we still have today and tomorrow for God to do some incredible work!

Love you..

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Prague Day 5...

The missionary women arrived today!  Yea!!   All 50 of them made it in before the opening worship tonight.  Except for just being tired from travel hearts are good and receptive.  Sweet group of women!  We introduced the team to the women, had a sweet time of worship, I shared my heart, we went to dinner and then came back and listened to each one of them share about their ministry and location. 

It is incredible to listen to all these women are up to in the Name of the LORD.  Please keep praying for them and the team.  If you are “Standing in the Gap” for them in prayer please pray for a good rest!  Pray that for the team as well.  This will be the first time since we got here that I have been able to get in bed before 11:30 p.m.   I’m confident the rest of the team is doing about the same or worse!  So, we could use prayers for strength.

Greatest line of the day………When one of our missionary women stood after listening to many other women share about how long they had been married, how long they had been on the field, and how many children they had and the ages of the children and I quote, “Being a missionary sure keeps you looking young.”   Now the secret is out as to why all the women are leaving the country! Ha, ha,ha,ha  just kidding.

Love you all,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Prague Day 4...

This morning I started my day at 7:45 with Patty calling to ask me a question about something. I was sound asleep. My alarm went off at 4 a.m. I did not!! I don’t even remember shutting it off. However, 1 hour later I was in the lobby ready to walk out the door with the team to go shopping. Not my favorite thing to do for those of you that know me. However, I always enjoy the fellowship of the team. Well OK  Will and I did sit and drink Costa Coffee at a coffee shop the first stop we made while everyone else shopped.  Which brings me to the place of saying to Kevin……..  “I think Penny still thinks it is her birthday!” ha, ha, ha, ha And John if you are reading this blog…….Bonnie has been hanging out with Penny.  That’s all I’m going to say.

Once we returned to the hotel we divided up into different teams to get preparations done and accomplished them in record time with incredible order.  Thank you Lord for such a sweet team!

We left at 5:30 and walked to our evening meal which was on a boat cruise.  It was a great time of fellowship and a good finish to our sightseeing days.

We arrived back at the hotel around 8:30 or so. Will and Rachel brought the keyboard we will be using this week so we could get it set up. We prayed over the room, tables, equipment, etc. Bonnie led us a time of worship and we have headed to our rooms to rest and get ready so we will be ready for the missionary women as they arrive tomorrow!  Please continue to pray that all these months of praying and preparing will come to fruition these next few days, months, and years ahead for HIS GLORY. For all of you that are praying for us we talked about you in our prayer time and team meeting this afternoon. We can feel HIS presence because you are “Standing in the Gap “for us as a team!  Thank you!

Love you so Much…Pray for those women as they leave husbands and kids behind tomorrow to know that God KNOWS!


Prague Day 3...

Well, the team was up and ready to go on Monday morning when Greg, our missionary guide, showed up to take us on our final day of sightseeing before the retreat. Monday was my favorite day of sightseeing because we got to walk across the Charles Bridge. I encourage you go to on line and read about the Charles Bridge.

We also spent our day in Old Town Prague. We went to the Jewish Quarter, the Old Town Tower, and witnessed the Astronomical Clock on the hour. You must read up on this online and watch some of the YouTube videos. Incredible stuff!  Just being inside Old Town Prague is incredible all by itself. 

We had lunch at a restaurant the served traditional Czech food. Some had sausage and buttered potatoes, others soup, salad, some schnitzel, potato salad, etc. Most would simply say it was different. We celebrated Penny’s (one of our team members) Birthday by ordering her a slice of cake which we helped eat!  She celebrated by buying herself a gift. I will wait until she has had time to tell her husband before I share it with you! Ha,ha,ha

Deb and I met with Eva our hotel contact for the conference room setup this afternoon.  She is an extremely kind young woman. Everything is running on schedule for our time here. Even the team! Ha,ha,ha

This morning (Tuesday) Will, Rachel’s husband, will take us shopping for a couple of hours this morning then starting after lunch it is all about retreat mode for the next 5 days!  Pray for us that as we begin to go through the trunks and sort through the many things so many of you have touched with your very hands that all will be in good shape from travel!

I pray that you that give financially, allowed your wives, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, nieces, to travel with the team, those that have made gifts, given gifts, prayed, etc. realize that you are ever bit a part of what is about to go on here for the next 5 days. We are first and foremost as a team, ambassadors for Christ. We also represent every penny, prayer, thought, tangible gifts, garage sale, bake sale, opportunity shared, when we stand before those women tomorrow afternoon for the first time as a team, you are part of that team!  Thank you sooooo much!

I love you all so much!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Greetings from Prague

We made it into Prague yesterday afternoon about 3:00 p.m. local time.  The team was pretty tired, myself included.  We were met at the airport by Will and Rachael.  Rachael got us to the Hotel so we could freshen up a bit before heading to dinner.  Dinner was an Italian Restaurant were we agreed as a team to do a style of eating where they bring you endless helpings of every possible type of pasta you can imagine along with different pizza until you tell them to stop.  I can promise you we needed it for our touring today because we put some mileage on our feet! 

Today we started our day out by visiting a Czech International Church.  We had a sweet time of worship and a great message.  We then grabbed a quick sandwich at little place near the church and then we were off to visit the Prague Castle.  If you want to Czech out our touring today you can click on the following link    Again we had a missionary couple, Brian and Allie, that were our guides.  We had sweet time with them throughout the day and then went to dinner at a restaurant that served mostly Czech food.
It was wonderful!   We came back to the hotel and had our first team meeting and prayer time.

Things that were eventful among the last two days:
  • Our flight out of Atlanta on Friday afternoon was delayed because they could not get the seal vacuum on one of the exit doors to work.  We ended up having to return to the gate just after leaving the gate onto the tarmac.
  • Bonnie did not have her luggage checked through to Czech so we had to dress her in a variety of things yesterday.  Her suitcase did come in at 12:30 or so this morning.
  • We have been here less than 48 hours and have ridden the tram, bus, subway.  Incredible transportation system here!  You can get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time through these means.
  • The streets and sidewalks here are made of cobblestone.  It is interesting to watch the ladies that walk around in high heels.  I told Alley today if that was me I would have broken something and be laid out.

Pray for us as we spend another day tomorrow getting to know some of this area.
Our schedule looks like this:

·         Sightseeing East of the Vlatava
8:30 meet Greg in Hotel lobby
* Old town Square- Clock
* Jewish Quarter
* Charles Bridge
* Wenceslas Square

Keep praying for the missionary women and the retreat.  Also, remember one of the ladies named Denise. She has had some health complication and needs our prayers!!
Love you all very much,


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Prague, Here We Come!

Excitement is in the air around here this week. I just returned from Tulsa, Oklahoma where we packed trunks for our trip to Prague. Several weeks ago, we packed trunks in Longview, Texas and tonight (Monday) we packed the trunks from Arkansas, and Wednesday night they pack in South Carolina. Reality sets in when you start putting things in those trunks! It is so sweet to see the team working together as the body of Christ to accomplish His plans. Ladies in Prague, get ready because this team is ready to encourage and love on you!

For those of you who have been following the Stop the Chaos in the Family we will pick back up with that in two weeks. In the mean time I want to encourage you (if you haven’t already) to follow the directions I am listing below to be able to follow our trip to Prague with us. I will be writing a daily blog from this Friday, October 19th through Sunday, October 28th.  If you are not already receiving these entries by email and are reading this on the Blog page just look to the right where you will see “Enter your email”

  • Enter your email address and press “subscribe”.
  • A pop-up from Feedburner will require you to enter the code on the screen. There will by a message directing you to your inbox. Look in your inbox for a message from “Feedburner Email Subscriptions” (check your spam or junk folder if you do not see the note).
  • Click on the link in the message to complete the subscription process.

Now for those of you that are wondering . . . as of your reading of this blog we have ALL of our missionary women sponsored for this trip!! Praise God for His Faithfulness!!
I love it that you all take seriously your giving to this ministry and to our missionary women! Thank you each and every one who has been praying, giving and who are going on this trip! We have had some incredible encouragement from so many about what God is up to with this particular trip. I can’t wait to see His hand at work.

Watch for the next blog on Saturday. We will be in Prague by then. Also, remember to keep the team, the missionary women, and all our families in prayer while we are gone.

Love you all so much!


“The man who is elated by success and is cast down by failure is still a carnal man. At best his fruit will have a worm in it.” A.W. Tozer

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Prague Update and "Stopping the Chaos in the Family" Continued...

God is moving on behalf of the missionary women. Last week while the blog was at the editor’s, I found out that we had received another gift of $2000. That brought us down to 10 ½ ladies left to be sponsored. This past weekend several of us did the 2nd round of garage sales. The temperature dropped overnight from the upper 70’s to the mid 50’s. And the rain came with it. But, before it got the best of us, we raised another $277 and some change. So, that brought us down to 10, and the covering of at least an arm or a leg of another missionary. We needed some torso money again! Ha, ha, ha. As of today, we have all but nine missionary women sponsored. So pray, give, and share with others the opportunity to give; and watch as God continues to accomplish His will of providing for the missionary women attending this retreat. 

The team is ready and is dealing with final details as we go into the last leg of preparations. We have a lot to get done in these last 10 days before we leave the country. Packing will start taking place, the final checklist looked at, and lots of prayers will be asked of God that He will help us to make sure nothing is left undone.

So keep praying and keep giving as God leads! We are almost there!!!!

Stopping the Chaos in the Family . . .

Last week I shared a story with you that a young man had shared with me concerning the blood of Christ and Isaiah 53:5. We established that truly Jesus paid it all through and through. He is our righteousness and we don’t have righteousness in and of ourselves.

 I really need you to get hold of this truth. It is where our freedom in Christ and our great understanding of grace come from. Understanding this truth will change your walk with God. It will set you free and eliminate much chaos in the home! I came to this understanding about 18 years ago in my walk with the LORD. It looked something like this . . .

At that time, God had allowed me the opportunity to be able to share my spiritual gifts through teaching and speaking. I was traveling and speaking with a ministry out of Austin, TX. The result of this is I was also given opportunities to speak in churches and other established ministries. This resulted in me spending a tremendous amount of time in the Word and with the LORD. The end result was the enemy came by dangling a little bit of temptation in front of me to throw me off course, and I took the bait. I was devastated. I could not believe that I could have been deceived in such a fashion! I was in the Word, I was praying, I was hanging out with godly people, I was being used of God to minister to other people and set them free, I, I, I, I, I. Are you seeing this picture? I was so distraught that I even considered, “What is the point of life?” That is when God got hold of me and changed my journey. As I sat out on my back porch fully distraught from the situation ready to walk out of life, God spoke to my heart in that small but firm gentle voice, "Vickie, who do you think you are! This journey isn't about your righteousness. Yes, you have failed but your standing (righteousness) with Me isn't based on your performance or lack of performance, but completely on the finished work of the shed blood on the cross, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ! You, Vickie, have no righteousness apart from Me!” Girls, don't confuse doing right things for the righteousness of Christ. Christ is our righteousness, and He gives us right standing before God. Because of His righteousness in us, we do desire to live upright and pursue His desires . . . not ours! But never believe the lie that our failures in righteous living change our right standing before God! Jesus purchased that righteousness for us once and for all!!! As a result of that day with the LORD, I came to a true understanding of who I am in Christ.

Romans 5:17
For if, by the trespass of the one man [Adam], death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ (NIV 1984, “Adam” added).

Because of that day, I came to a true understanding that I would never be good enough to warrant right standing with God because of what I do. However, I will have that right standing before Him because of whose I am: a child of God.

John 1:12-13
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (ESV).

I fail miserably at times in my walk with the LORD, but that cannot change my right standing before God. Amen!

My precious ones, get hold of this truth! God isn’t concerned about how many times we hit the wall. What He cares about is that when we get up, we are still moving toward Him. Christ in us is the only thing that gives us the desire to carry on! So my sweet sisters, CARRY ON, there is kingdom work to be done!!

Love you much!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Prague News and "Stopping the Chaos in the Family"...

As we get into our home stretch for the Prague trip, I wanted to change the order of sharing information. It has been so fun to watch God at work during these last couple of weeks and I just want us to see His Hand at work together!!!

First, let me start out by saying I would not like to see another chicken cheese enchilada for a while. Over the weekend several of the team members, some Sunday school class members, previous team members, and a couple of girls I have the privilege of discipling and their children worked from Friday afternoon until Saturday evening making enchiladas and baked goods such as coconut cream pies, no bake cookies, chocolate pies, etc. The end result was that enough donations were given to sponsor 6 more missionary women at $500 per missionary. That money pays for them to stay 4 days, 3 nights in a nice hotel, all meals paid for, all materials covered, and the opportunity to hear messages given specifically for them, plus worship, fellowship, free time, etc. As of this writing, we only lack 14 ½ missionary women to have all 50 missionary women sponsored! We are so praising God and excited to see how He goes about bringing in the provision for the last 14 ½ ladies! Stay tuned! Remember, if He moves on your heart to give, be obedient. Otherwise, pray, pray, pray!

A couple of weeks ago I asked the missionary women to send me things I could share with you. This week one of women named Becky has sent a few different blogs that will give you some insight into ministry for her.

Expect great things during the next couple of weeks as we watch God move on behalf of these missionary women!!

[Special Note:  While this blog was sitting in the hands of the editor I received a phone call letting me know that we received a check for $2000.00 to sponsor 4 more missionary women!  WooooooooWhoooooooooo!!! 

So, we only have 10 ½ missionary women left to sponsor!  God is so good!!!!

Stopping the Chaos in the Family . . .

Last week we established that the shedding of blood and death took place for the first time following Adam and Eve’s disobedience (sin) toward God. This death (sacrifice) of the animal and the shedding of its blood is a foreshadowing of Christ’s shedding of blood and His death on the cross for forgiveness of our sins.

I want to share a story with you about a young man who shared with me several years ago as we were doing some clean up at a youth camp following dinner. He told me that his pastor had shared this with the congregation weeks before. First, he asked me to look at
Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV):

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

Then he asked me these questions:
  1. “What is a wound?” I responded that it is a cut, open sore, torn skin, etc.
  2. “What are transgressions?” I responded that it is sin against God, and more specifically, to knowingly sin against him.
  3. “What is a bruise?” My reply was that it is when there has been a blow to your body but it bleeds on the inside not the outside.
  4. “What are iniquities?” My response was that I think of iniquities as more of internal sins: sins of the mind, heart, secret sin, strongholds, etc.

He then shared this with me: Vickie, Jesus was wounded (shed blood) for all your transgressions. All the times in your life past, present, and future that you will blatantly sin against Him when you know you shouldn’t do something. But, He was also bruised (shed blood internally) for those sins that are of the heart: bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, wrong thinking, etc. When Jesus shed His blood on the cross for our sins, it was shed from the outside in to the inside out. He has us covered with the blood through and through! So, don’t let the enemy ever convince you that you have ever committed a sin outwardly or inwardly that isn’t covered by Jesus’ redeeming work on the cross! He’s got us covered!!! He has clothed us in His righteousness!
Love you all so much . . . keep praying for those last 10½ missionary women!!!